Grade 8 Looks at Yellow Creek Through Different Lenses
By Beth Alexander, Curriculum Leader, and STEM Teacher
As part of the Coding, Engineering, Robotics, Electronics, and Science (CERES) program in Grade 8, the class has been working with Doug Anderson, one of our Indigenous Educators, and Anna Dunets, our Engineer-in-Residence. This spring, we studied Yellow Creek (which flows in the ravine near our school), looking at it through different lenses.
Doug asked students to think about ways in which people at various points in the history of this land might have used the water and surrounding land. During our visits to the creek, he also talked about misconceptions that people have about peoples of the past. For example, he countered the idea that Indigenous peoples didn't divert water sources or make other large-scale changes to the natural environment.
Anna also asked us to think about ways in which the water we observe today in Toronto may have changed over time due to human intervention. She discussed reasons why humans settle near water, and asked us to think about the environmental impact of using the energy and flow of a stream or river in our technological pursuits.
The girls interacted directly with the stream in several ways, including collecting a variety of data related to the flow, temperature, and chemical composition of the water. They then designed, built, and tested different systems that could use the energy of the water to move a load. By re-purposing items from the CERES lab, they came up with some really ingenious solutions, including a waterwheel-powered winch system.
Doug Anderson, one of our Indigenous Educators, and Anna Dunets, our Engineer-in-Residence.